Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 118

Russian president Boris Yeltsin yesterday rejected Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev’s proposal that the melody of the former USSR’s anthem be adopted as the Russia-Belarus Union’s anthem. Yeltsin was reacting to a report on the inaugural session of the Russia-Belarus Union’s Parliamentary Assembly, held at the end of last week in Brest, Belarus. The Parliamentary Assembly endorsed Seleznev’s proposal to commission new lyrics for the old tune. The lyrics are not to mention Russia or Belarus specifically, since their union is open to other former Soviet republics. Yeltsin’s legal adviser, Mikhail Krasnov, commented that the proposal was part of the Communist Party’s program to restore the USSR.

The Assembly chose Brest deliberately for its inaugural venue because of its proximity to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, where the documents that formally dissolved the USSR were signed in December 1991. The Assembly’s members then proceeded collectively to that "accursed place," as Seleznev described it, where the same room was used for the signing of the Assembly’s resolutions — which envisage the former Soviet republic’s reintegration. Seleznev admitted yesterday that the Assembly’s role will in the foreseeable future remain confined to recommendations on harmonizing national legislations, and that proposals aired in Brest to elect deputies to the Parliamentary Assembly by direct vote face insuperable constitutional and political obstacles. (Itar-Tass, RIA, Ekho Moskvy, June 15-16)

Lithuania Receives Investment-Grade Credit Rating.